Archive 2008 - 2019

Are Storm Alerts Overdone?

by Andrew Mades
1/27/2015

I wish that the news agencies (HR excepted) would not get so excited about these snowstorms. I wish that the gov’ts would not act like Armageddon (As The Onion posted: “NYC Mayor: Reconcile Yourselves With Your God, For All Will Perish in The Tempest”) was on its way whenever we get a forecast of more than 3 inches. And I wish that people would remember that it is just snow.

See, the trouble is that nobody of a certain age seems to remember that “New England spirit” that is so often raved about where a good New Englander just ignores the snow for the most part, and go about their daily business.

I have yet to see that kind of reaction in my 20 years on this earth, and it is very disappointing. It seems that the “Blizzard of ‘78” ruined that hardiness and disregard for snow that is so often boasted about by the people of Massachusetts. It seems that we of the lower three states no longer have that hardiness in our bones, and get scared every time the weathermen tell us that there is something ‘historic’ about precipitation.

Yes, the Blizzard of ’78 was bad! Yes, it came at the worst time and was an absolutely awful storm, but does it mean we should be wimps like those of the tri-state area? Does it mean we should act like Virginians who quake at the threat of snowflakes? I would say no! Shovel your driveway. Keep a shovel in your car, and kitty litter or salt, and some blankets, but still go about your daily business! We are Massachusetters! We are New Englanders! Live up to the hardiness that we young’uns have been told so often about.

 Also, on road condition, we’ve gotten better and better at keeping roadways passable, and yet we go out on them less. It makes no sense! The roads are clearer and yet people are more afraid of going out on them. Be safe, be slow, but don’t be chicken.

Do not let the weather keep you from going about your life. Be prepared but go anyway. I get made fun of by my friends because I keep a flashlight, matches, handkerchief, pocketknife, a deck of cards, and wallet on my person at all times when I’m out of the house. I keep most of these in my jacket which I take with me everywhere I go, even when it might not be necessary for where we are going at the time. I am prepared for anything, and dress for to be able to walk a few miles to get where I need to go. Everyone should be prepared like that. Always have a winter hat with your coat and gloves, keep some small supplies on your person so that you can go out in the snow without fear.

See you next storm!

-Andrew Mades.

Comments (6)

Jack - was there anyplace you needed to go on Tuesday? Even if there was, would there have been anything open anyway? There is a reason we have these travel bans, it's to protect us from the people who just "must" go to work, go shopping, or just go drive around and "see the storm". If a 24 hour ban on parking and travel makes the recovery from a major snowstorm quicker, then I am all for it. Personally I'd rather not have to drive through a snowstorm because my office was still open for the "hearty New England" types who believe that death is the only reason not to go to work.

Hungry Hippo | 2015-01-29 09:38:48

you are so right. i feel like i'm living in china or russia or something when they tell us we're not allowed to drive. i understand its easier for the towns/cities to clear the roads when no one is on them but this is not america when we're told what we have to do. the problem is there are too many stupid people around now and the government has to make the rules for the stupid people and the "normal" people suffer for it! it sucks!!!

jack | 2015-01-27 18:50:57

I enjoyed Andrew's article, and I think he speaks the feelings of a lot of people, especially young people. The media hype is indeed overdone, though it undoubtedly must seem worse the more one watches TV or social media. However, this was a real blizzard, and it was best that the roads stayed clear for plowing and emergencies. Framingham got more than 30 inches. houses along the coast were damaged, wind gusts were dangerous, power outages did occur. But more, without special measures, homeless people would have perished, plow operators would have been overwhelmed, and emergency crews would not have been in place. The "overdone" warnings probably prevented fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, heart attacks from unexpectedly strenuous shoveling, stranded workers, cars stuck and blocking roads, and elderly or disabled people left isolated. Holliston's affluence and cooperative neighborhoods may give us the impression that we shouldn't have to be inconvenienced by the weather, but I would like to point out that the Governor and the MEMA agents probably knew the true potential of the storm, and that their policies should not be dismissed. Andrew says, "Do not let the weather keep you from going about your life. Be prepared but go anyway." For some, the weather is in fact a part of life, not an obstacle to it. Watch the rail trail and you'll see the some real New England spirit. When there's been a formidable storm, let's not push through it to the office, when we can call a halt to the regular routine and savor the cold white world with our families, neighbors, (or fellow critical employees.)

Mudvillian | 2015-01-27 16:54:46

This was dry snow, whereas I remember 78 being much wetter. Anyway, it was nice to have a snow day. And since we have internet, which we didn't in 78, I actually got more work done at home than I would have at work!

Peter | 2015-01-27 14:34:09

I would prefer being prepared when not required than being caught unprepared. In 1967, before weather forecasting was what it is today, a massive snowstorm hit Chicago. We didn't know it was coming. My dad went to work that morning thinking it was going to be just a few inches. Then the snow just kept coming. The roads were clogged with everyone trying to get home at the same time. Because of the cars on the streets the plows couldn't get through. Cars were literally buried with people in them. My dad had to abandon the car in the highway. It took him almost three days to walk home. Bands of people walked together and they ate and rested when possible. There were I cell phones and phone lines were down so we had no idea where he was. Now people joke about stocking up on milk. My mother and the neighbors packing up the kids and pulled us in sleighs to the local dairy which was giving say milk because there was no electricity and their refrigeration was out. Of course the big crisis, more so than milk, was that my mother was low on cigarettes.

Michelle Zeamer | 2015-01-27 13:40:58

They did not overdue this one! It was all that they said it would be.

bobmcgrath | 2015-01-27 12:16:31